Task 31: Climate-Ready Fisheries Management Modeling

Award Period
Award Amount
Agency Name
The Nature Conservancy
Award Number
PI First Name
PI Last Name
Area/s of Research
Ecology and Evolution

Impacts of climate change are global, diverse, and accelerating, yet both our recognition and understanding of

the full scope of this problem are still in their infancy. Addressing the numerous threats to California’s ocean

ecosystems, and ensuring that California fisheries can deliver positive outcomes for both the environment and

people will require advancing fisheries management toward a new “climate-ready fisheries” model. Climateready

fisheries management can be achieved through improved information flows via new technology and

partnerships, adaptive management and decision-making frameworks, accounting for climate dynamics in stock

assessments, flexible permitting systems, dynamic spatial management, and improved capacity for evaluating

and preparing for social-ecological impacts. Though examples of successful climate-ready fisheries approaches

do exist, there is still uncertainty and miscommunication around how and why climate-ready fisheries

management should be implemented. Relevant questions that remain unanswered include: What are the

defining characteristics of climate-ready fisheries? What are the benefits of climate-ready fisheries

management? How do we efficiently transition California’s state-managed fisheries to a climate-readiness?

What are the limitations and challenges associated with this transition?

For the purpose of this project, the Sustainable Fisheries Group (SFG) at UC Santa Barbara will develop a

model that seeks to identify and better understand the different types of management strategies that will best

position California to develop effective climate-ready fisheries management policies. To do so, SFG will address

two critical questions, with a focus on one (or more) specific fisheries that will be selected jointly by SFG and


● How robust are potential management solutions to a range of climate change threats and scenarios (i.e.

how can we design strategies that account for our uncertainty about future climate change impacts)?

● For any given fishery and its associated suite of potential climate-ready management strategies (each

with varying degrees of robustness to climate change), what is the expected outcome for the stock

compared to business as usual, and subsequently, what is the benefit to a broad range of stakeholders?